BHOPAL: The increasing number of corona cases has left the health department, as well as medical experts, in Madhya Pradesh high and dry. Vaccination continues, while, on the other hand, cases, too, are increasing. Within a week, there has been a hike of 1 per cent in the corona-positive rate, which reflects the increasing trend in the state. A week ago, the rate was 0.9 per cent and, now, it is 1.9 per cent.
Medical experts have expressed deep concern over negligence on the part of some people who have tossed off protocols and guidelines against Covid — putting on masks and maintaining social distancing and hand hygiene on the grounds that the arrival of the vaccine makes masks and other precautionary measures inconsequential. As a result, the number of corona cases has started picking up in Madhya Pradesh.
According to doctors, such states as Kerala and Maharashtra are glaring examples of what could happen if caution is thrown to the winds as the state governments there have to take stringent action once again. The people of Madhya Pradesh should take a lesson from this.
People should continue to adhere to such guidelines as putting on masks and maintaining social distancing and hand hygiene to keep corona at bay. Even after vaccination, masks are a must as it is a protection against several seasonal diseases.
Doctors also expressed displeasure over several misconceptions that are rife — for instance, villagers do not put on masks, but even so, they do not contract the corona infection because they have immunity to face all kinds of diseases. It is also a misconception that prolonged use of masks weakens the immune system and the body will then not have the resistance power to face even a minor change in weather.
Actually, corona has come from foreign countries and reached the urban areas in India. It has not penetrated the villages significantly just because of poor transportation and the enforced lockdown. So, comparison with villagers is not tenable. If people continue to adhere to protrocols, it will break the chain of urban-to-village infections.
‘Neglect will lead to spurt’
"Only around 1 crore people have been vaccinated, but India’s population is roughly 135 crore. So, it’s pointless to argue that, since vaccine is here, there’s no need to use masks now. Masks are mandatory even after vaccination as they help protect people from various seasonal diseases. We’ve observed that the use of masks has drastically reduced the number of allergic patients, TB patients and patients of various respiratory problems. And it’s a misconception that prolonged use of masks reduces immunity of the body. On the contrary, they’re protective and people should make use of them regularly. If people continue to neglect these precautions, Madhya Pradesh will start heading the Maharashtra way soon," said Dr Lokendra Dave, professor & HoD, pulmonary department, state nodal doctor.